HP bolsters information lifecycle management lineup

Von Bob Francis

Hewlett-Packard Co. beefed up its ILM (information lifecycle management) offerings Thursday, delivering on some technology it demonstrated to customers last year.

HP"s new offerings center around its RISS (Reference Information Storage System), an integrated storage, search, and retrieval appliance it introduced last May.

Opening up the platform for innovation from outside vendors, HP announced a RISS open API. HP also expanded its ISV support and partner program, added new solutions, services, and upgrades to its RISS system, and added a new product that simplifies the long-term storage of file system-based data. The company also announced several new services for customers interested in utilizing ILM in their organizations.

The HP StorageWorks RISS API will allow various third-party ISVs to develop applications for the RISS storage platform. HP officials said the company expects new applications to include Web services, common Internet and network file systems solutions, and vertical market products in the areas of finance and healthcare.

HP also announced that 13 ISVs are working with HP to port applications to its RISS API. To further application development, HP is rolling out the RISS SDK, a toolkit that will provide support for basic storage interfaces as well as emerging ILM standards.

The company also enhanced the RISS product, increasing the capacity of its "smart cells" from 400GB to 850GB while reducing the base price by nearly 50 percent from the previous version. RISS accelerates data retrieval by evenly distributing full-text indexes and original content across many storage "smart cells," which form the basis of HP"s StorageWorks Grid Architecture.

"We"ve had good success with the product and believe that by increasing capacity and reducing the price we will hit an even larger part of the market for this product," said Paul O"Brien, director of ILM at HP"s StorageWorks division. "Most of our customers are using it for document retrieval as well as e-mail retrieval in some compliance applications. We believe at this price point we"ll have many users who may start with a specific need and then quickly roll the technology throughout their organization," O"Brien said.

Also new for RISS is support for archiving e-mails from Lotus Notes and Domino. The product originally supported only Microsoft Exchange.

In addition, the company introduced HP StorageWorks File System Extender, an application that automates data movement across multiple tiers of storage. "This application looks for information that has not been used for some specified period of time, say 90 days, and moves it to lower-cost storage," O"Brien said.

As part of its ILM strategy, HP will offer a new service component. The company will offer a set of preconfigured installation services to help customers convert volumes of company data into an organized, prioritized, easily accessed body of information.

RISS starts at US$112,500 for a fully integrated 1.8TB archiving system. The new offerings are available now.